The latest cigar to hit the market from La Gloria Cubana is the Serie R Esteli. Arriving on B&M shelves in late September, this cigar comes only a few months after the Serie R Black. In search of different types of tobacco, the blenders at La Gloria came across a tobacco grown in the mountains of Jalapa, Nicaragua. Dubbed Jalapa Sol, this tobacco, the La Gloria website narrates, produced two distinct blends, both being “green-lighted” into a production run.
The Serie R Esteli line comes in three vitolas, No.54 (6 x 54, SRP $6.49), No.60 (6 x 60, SRP $6.99) and No.64 (6 ¼ x 64, SRP $7.49). For this review I have the No. 54—6×54 stick gifted by the man himself, Master Sensei.
First off, the bands on this cigar are beautiful. The main band is silver and black with red highlighting the La Gloria goddess. The foot band is mainly silver with the La Gloria Cubana name scrolled along its face. Glistening with natural oils, the Jalapa Sol tobacco wrapper is just as beautiful. Nutty brown with a leather textured grain, the wrapper shows only minor veins and semi-invisible seams. The pack is semi-firm down its length, with the only exterior flaw I could see being a poorly made double cap. Initial nose off the foot and the cold draw both produce a strong, aromatic hay note with floral undertones.
I toasted the foot and took a few initial draws. Right away it developed a mouse-hole on one side that, in short order, became a fairly sizable runner. The construction was the big issue in the first half of this stick. Just past the initial half-inch I had to first touch up the burn, then again shortly after. It just wouldn’t catch up. There was one hole in the bunch after the next through the entire first half of the cigar. It needed constant attention and numerous touch-ups to get to the midpoint, where the mangled and twisted ash finally fell off. After that, the burn straightened out and was even the rest of the way.
Surprisingly, the draw didn’t seem to be effected by the misaligned burn, but the smoke volume did. It was hard to get any smoke off it at all. The lack of smoke made it difficult to discern any aromatic components. The ones I did detect were very earthy—woody, mushroom in combination with a distinct mossiness. The oils from the tobacco were very prominent, leaving bit of zestiness in my throat with every puff.
Through the entire stick, the strength settled in at a very comfortable medium with the body lagging just a touch behind. The finish was short and the smoke volume that was lacking early flourished in the second half. Unfortunately, the smoke left a thick coating on my palate that required me to constantly be sipping my water to clear it. The flavors in this stick are all about earthiness—rich moss followed by the deep woodsy mushroom laying over an underlying plain tobacco core.
Overall, this cigar came across to me as very one-dimensional with the only flavors trending away from the earthiness coming right at the end, as a slight back note of smoky, red meat. I don’t see what all the fuss about Jalapa Sol tobacco is, to my mind, there doesn’t seem to be any distinct or unique aromatic component here.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
With the exception of trying one more just to see if the burn issues I encountered were similar, no, I would not smoke this cigar again. Construction issues aside, I didn’t like the way the smoke lay heavy in my mouth nor did I care for the flavors. Though the wrapper and bands are very glamorous to look at, this cigar is all show and no go.
Until next time…Dojo Mojo, Ya’ll!!
Guest reviewed by David Moon (aka Criollo Katana, Smokin’_Cubans)
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- Nice appearance
- Poor burn
- One dimensional
- Low smoke output